October 19 | Genesis 22:1-18
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The Lord Will Provide - A Place and a Promise
by Dan Kidd
Knowing what we know about God, this is an odd and uncomfortable story. We know that ours is not a God who demands sacrifice for his pleasure—especially not human sacrifice. He is the God of life, love, and provision. But this this is an important early chapter, as Abraham (and with him, all of humanity) is learning about who Yahweh is relative to the gods and religions around them. Yahweh had, to this point, been ambivalent about how much he could trust Yahweh. He’d followed God out of his homeland and been promised the blessing of a nation more numerous than the stars—blessed that through him, the world would be blessed. But Abraham had often acted in his own self-preservation, looking not for Yahweh’s provision; twice he’d lied about his relationship with Sarah (fearing the for his safety, he’d claimed she was not his wife, but his sister, and then handing her over to be the bride of Pharaoh and the Abimelek). Abraham had also come to doubt God’s promise about his bearing a son, and so he married Hagar despite Yahweh’s plan that Sarah would birth Isaac.
Despite his failures, Yahweh had been faithful to care for Abraham. In today’s passage, we see evidence that Abraham may have learned his lesson. God calls Abraham to sacrifice Isaac—his “only son”—in Moriah. But when Isaac becomes curious that the sacrificial lamb is conspicuously missing, Abraham responds, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Perhaps Abraham now understands the Lord’s character enough to trust that despite appearances, Yahweh will come through once again. His faith is confirmed.
Abraham named that mount in Moriah his learned confession, “The Lord will Provide.” There would now be a place on the map, a mountain standing tall and true, that proclaims the character and care of our God.